Daily life sometimes can seem futile. The routine of work and home gets discouraging. Life seems to be worth little. After a time only a headstone will mark the fact you existed. This is all faulty thinking. Life is about the dreams we share with others and how we help them. Life and love is more than hand-me-down fairy tales. Certainly not everyone can live a life of adventure or have their name written on history. The faceless multitude of the past is what created today. Individuals write history only because of the people who follow.
What is the meaning of daily life?
This question has plagued thinkers throughout time. Some say God; some say science or there is no meaning. The meaning of life is simple: compassion. Compassion isn’t just how we relate to others. It is a way of thinking that influences how we view and act. Compassion allows us to relate to others on a human level. Race and gender are just false ideas that fall away under compassion’s gaze. We are just humans. We all eat, love, hurt, and die.
Compassion allows us to live more fully. We are aware that we too will die. Everyone we love will pass on. Time is beautifully limited. This realization lets you live now and kindly. Compassion is rooted in the awareness of suffering and death. Certainly such awareness can make life seem futile, but that is thinking rooted in self-pity and not compassion. This appreciation, as I discovered, makes you more aware of how you treat the earth each day as well.
You grow more aware of how your consumption habits damage the environment, animals, and other people as your compassion grows. That is the nifty thing about compassion; it is universal. As you develop more compassion toward other people, you also begin feeling compassion for all the plants, water, animals, and even rocks around you. Sounds hippy, I know. I was surprised how my practice of compassion has shifted my views to all things. It makes sense. We rely on the earth to live. All the rocks, minerals, air, water, plants and animals provide the foundation for your life. Abuse them, and you abuse yourself. After all, poisoning the water with plastics and other pollution hurts us too.
So how do you develop compassion? It is a gradual process that requires daily practice:
- Cultivate an awareness of impermanence. Realize you, your loved ones, and your favorite coffee cup all have limited time to exist. We all die.
- Use the awareness of impermanence to add pressure. It should motivate you.
- Shift your thinking toward other people. Living other centered is the key to happiness
- Pause often and reflect. This is particularly true in emotionally charged situations.
Very few of us will leave a physical memory. However, your daily actions leave a reverberation throughout history. As your life touches people, it leaves an impression that is passed onto the people they meet, and so on. Do you want your impression, no matter how brief the encounter, to be negative or one of compassion?